According to the Wall Street Journal, Sprint paid around $20 billion to add the iPhone to their roster. $20 billion?! If the report is correct, this basically means that Sprint is going to bet the company on a single handset. The investment is so large, in fact, that the carrier will be losing money into 2014. Ouch.
However, Sprint may not have a lot to lose. According to the WSJ (subscription needed for full story), Sprint has been going down financially for about 10 years.
In short, this deal really could make or break the company (as Gizmodo puts it, they sum it up for those of us with no subscription). It’s a bold move from the third largest carrier in the US, but sometimes bold moves work.
Somehow, there is a rumor floating around that the iPhone 5 will become a timed Sprint exclusive because of the amount paid. If this is true, the iPhone 4S would be the less spec’d up model and available on AT&T and Verizon. That’s kinda hard to believe. Still, that’s also a lot of money to bet on the handset.
We’ll know for sure tomorrow.